Our Clinic offers low-cost spay/neuter surgeries and vaccinations for community cats who are trapped in Vanderburgh and surrounding counties. It is our goal to humanely decrease the number of unwanted cats & kittens in our community.
“Community Cat” is used to describe any free-roaming, outdoor cat. They are often referred to as “feral” cats even though some are not truly feral. Some community cats are not socialized with people, while others are friendly and may have been lost or abandoned by their previous families. Because they live outside, and are oftentimes fed and cared for by one or more neighbors, they’re called “community cats.” Community cats are protected under the City of Evansville Animal Control Ordinance as of July 2015.
What's the Process for Getting a Community Cat Fixed?
Trap the cat and bring it to us. (We currently do not have the manpower to provide trapping assistance or pick up trapped cats.)
For the safety of the cat and our staff, all cats must arrive in a humane live-release trap. Here is some information on what traps are and how to use them. VHS has traps available to rent for a $60 refundable cash deposit, or you can purchase your own from any farm supply or pet store and use it. Each cat must be in its own individual trap.
Withhold food on the morning of surgery, but continue to provide fresh water.
Bring up to 2 trapped community cats per household on Tuesday or Wednesday mornings between 8:00 am – 10:00 am with no appointment needed. Bringing more than 2 cats at once requires an appointment. We are only to fix 12 trapped cats a day. Please check our Facebook page ahead of time to make sure we are accepting traps during holiday weeks.
All patients will receive spay/neuter surgery, a rabies vaccination, and an FVRCP vaccination depending on age. Cats’ left ears will be tipped for future identification. Surgery costs $55 for female cats and $40 for male cats. For community cats specifically, this includes 2 vaccinations. Additional optional products are available at the time of surgery such as parasite treatment, FeLV/FIV testing, and microchipping. Pricing for those services can be found here.
Patients are held for one night after surgery to recover. Pickup is at 7:30 am the day after surgery so the cats can be returned to their community.
I Found a Cat. Is It Eligible for this Program?
If the cat lives primarily outdoors, then yes! But first, check for 2 things.
1) Get the cat scanned for a microchip. It could be someone's lost pet. This can be done for free at any animal shelter or veterinary clinic during business hours.
2) Make sure the cat's left ear isn't already tipped, or that it doesn't have a green tattoo on its belly (if you can get close enough to check.) Either of these indicate that the cat has already been fixed. If that's the case, give the cat a scratch behind the ears and send it on its way! It's probably just visiting you looking for food.
I'd Rather Just Remove the Cat Colony from the Area. Will That Work?
It will not. Cats choose their territories for a variety of reasons. Usually it’s because of a food source or the shelter an area provides. Removing cats doesn’t address whatever drew the cats to the area in the first place, so new cats will move in or the remaining cats will breed again to capacity. It is a vacuum effect. We’ve seen communities that have spent lots of taxpayer money rounding up and euthanizing or relocating all the cats, only to have a new group move in a year or two later and continue producing more unwanted kittens.
How Else Can I Help Prevent Community Cat Overpopulation?
Get any free-roaming cats in your neighborhood fixed so they don’t have any more litters. If you can’t afford the cost on your own, see if neighbors will pitch in together to help get the cats fixed!
We are always seeking volunteers to help us trap & transport community cats for people who aren’t able to do so. Contact our Volunteer Coordinator for information!
The Vanderburgh Humane Society Davidson Rausch Low-Cost Spay & Neuter Clinic adheres to the standards for the Spay/Neuter Medical Care Guidelines developed in 2008, and updated in 2016, by the Association of Shelter Veterinarians’ Veterinary Task Force to Advance Spay/Neuter.
Our Clinic is the proud 24th member of the ASPCA Clinic Mentorship, formerly known as the National Spay/Neuter Response Team (NSNRT).
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